SaskPower delays decision on carbon capture expansion

Saskatchewan's power company has pushed back a deadline on whether to expand its use of carbon capture technology.

President Mike Marsh says decision will be made by 2017 rather than next year

SaskPower president, Mike Marsh, says the company will delay its decision on whether to expand carbon capture technology to another two units at Boundary Dam until 2017. (CBC)

Saskatchewan's power company has pushed back a deadline on whether to expand its use of carbon capture technology.

SaskPower's president, Mike Marsh, says the company had hoped to make a decision on whether to retrofit another two units at Boundary Dam power plant by next year.

But on Monday, Marsh told reporters that decision has been pushed back to 2017.

"You don't undertake a project in excess of $1 billion without having your facts," Marsh said.

He says SaskPower must ensure Unit 3 at Boundary Dam has been operating well enough for an entire year before expanding carbon capture to Units 4 and 5. 

"You need that data in order to inform the next decision, because the next decision will be a big decision. [Retrofitting Units] 4 and 5 is going to be essentially twice the size. And we're not going to undertake that lightly," Marsh told reporters at the Legislature on Monday.

Leaked documents raised by the Opposition reveal SaskPower has had problems with its carbon capture plant. (SaskPower)

The Opposition's Cathy Sproule says that level of uncertainty seems to contradict the government's glowing reviews of the project as well as the money it's spending to promote it around the world.

"If they haven't figured it out yet, [then] there's a lot of concerns that we really need to start screaming about," Sproule said. 

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